everyone's favorite furry accessory!



we were very worried about how russell and oliver would get along.
it went great.
where ever olly is, russell is not far behind.
i love my boys and i'm sure they'll get into some mischief down the road.

hi! i'm your...

great grandma

uncle alex





olly loves taking baths and kicking his feet in the water from the faucet.

he has no modesty.

this summer i think we are going to try "mommy & me" swim classes.

one month old.

dear oliver fox,

somehow it was only one month, or somehow it was already one month, you were born. it has gone by so quick and i have loved every minute of staying home with you. your daddy says i am spoiling you by picking you up every time you make a peep, and carrying you around from room to room, and staring at you at all time, and cuddling you while you sleep all day. basically, i can't get enough of you and i won't mind one bit if you turn out to be a mama's boy.
everybody always thinks that their child is the best looking creature ever conceived, but daddy & i suspect that some parents just know their babies just aren't that cute. we, on the other hand, know it is true. you have fluffy brown hair and blue eyes like uncle alex when he was born and your daddy. you have long legs, feet, and toes and have a feeling you are going to be tall.you spend most of the time eating and sleeping, but the rest of your day consists of cracking us up with your animated faces and noises. your favorite right now seems to be poking your tongue in and out of your mouth and cooing. you look just like mama when you are crabby or about to cry. you make a crazed face and growling noise when you are just about to latch on--for all the trouble we had with nursing the first few days, you sure enjoy eating. you love grabbing onto fingers, and stretching, and kicking your legs like crazy. you could stay in the kitchen sink bath all night and going for a drive in the car always quiets you down.we are so so lucky that you are a part of our family and i love you so much more than i ever could have imagined. i can't wait to get to know you as your personality comes through, but have to remind myself not to wish this time away.



getting there. (birth story)

my due date was march 13. my own mom had to wait three extra weeks to meet me back in 1984 so i don't know why i thought oliver would show up right on time. i was nonetheless very upset when that saturday came and went without a quiver of a contraction. i had set all of my expectations on that one date, and having nothing come to fruition was adding miles to a marathon i thought i was wrapping up.

we were using a midwife practice to deliver our baby (largely because i wanted the smallest chance for a c-section possible) so there were 5 different women we were seeing because we had no idea who would be on duty the night of delivery. a few different dates had been thrown out, one thought at 41 weeks, one said 42. it was generally agreed upon that it would not go any farther than that because the baby stops getting nutrients as efficiently or could grow bigger than would be comfortable to deliver. after some miscommunication and scheduling and rescheduling due to my cervix's lack of progress, i was finally scheduled for 6am on march 26th.

late wednesday night, around 10pm, contractions finally started. as horrible as they were, it was almost funny because what i had thought were contractions before, most certainly were not even close. they were 15 minutes apart or so, fairly strong, but definitely not regular. they continued like that all night long with this stabby, throbbing pain that i can best compare to a charlie horse originating from my uterus shooting out to my back. since we had just moved in to our new place (the sanity on that decision has since been questioned), we did not yet have cable in our bedroom. i fought through these contractions all night, waking me up just as i dozed off, as i watched a dvd of "i love you, man" on repeat to try to distract myself from the pain.

i had a doctor's appointment the next morning, which tom took me to, and the midwife was happy to report that i had made some progress and that i very well may go into official labor on my own before my scheduled induction, but either way, i would have this baby soon and that she estimated he would be 7.5 to eight pounds.

this misery continued on the rest of the day, the contractions getting closer and stronger as time went on. any noise bothered me (which resulted in more than a few occasions of me screaming at tom to shut up), as did anything touching me (which resulted in more than a few occasions of me screaming at tom and russell to get away from me). i tried different positions, locations, the bath, counter-pressure, but i spent most of the day sleeping between contractions, waking up long enough to write down what time it was.

until around 11pm when tom hears me on the phone with the afterhours nurse at the midwives office: "i think it's time for us to come in."

he quickly showered, finished packing our bags, taking the dog out, and i quickly started panicking. for all the times that we said, "this could be the last time we ____________ before the baby comes," it was all really true right now. the next time we walk in the door of our house, we will be parents. the next time i get in the car, there will be a baby in the car seat. holy smokes.

we checked into the hospital just after midnight. i got into my gown, strapped up to all sorts of monitors and waited until almost 3 for my epidural. which. was. awesome. i was sweating profusely while the anasthesiologist got me set up because of course i'd heard i could be paralyzed with one wrong move. it started working almost immediately, and i fell asleep just as quick.

i watched all sorts of stupid court shows on daytime tv, ate some stupid liquid meals of broth and jello (i hadn't eaten anything since a bagel thursday morning), and then all of a sudden, i was fully dilated and it was time to push. i felt like they had totally sprung this on me and that i was in no way prepared for this. they (the nurse michelle and the midwife sharon) adjusted the bed, held back my legs, gave me brief and incomplete instructions, and then seemed really disappointed with my attempt at a push. they left to deliver someone else's baby down the hall, presumably someone who was better at pushing, only after ordering that the epidural be turned down. i was really bummed, and had been in labor for 40 hours at this point.

they returned 30 minutes later and we tried again. women always talk about the pain being the worst they've ever experienced. i didn't think the pain was so bad because the drugs were still partially doing there job. it was pressure, and it was just being out of shape. all this holding my breath and pushing one right after another and not making any sort of noise? i was gagging and shouting "i can't do this anymore!" and tom's phone was ringing and i was screaming at him to turn it off and then sharon calls for the baby nurse. i couldn't imagine what for--any sort of progress seemed miles away.

about two seconds later, this big slippery feeling, and oliver fox reiter was here at 4:10pm. he was 21.5 inches long and 9lb, 7oz (NOT the 7.5 lbs they had predicted YESTERDAY) and with blue eyes, a full head of brown hair and a healthy set of lungs.

our lives were going to be completely different from this point forward.


10 months boiled down to a few basic questions.

how far along? 41 weeks and 6 days. i was scheduled to be induced the morning of 3.26.10 but ended up going in to the hospital the night before. [well actually, just after midnight--we took notes from jim & pam of "the office" and went in just after midnight to eek another night's stay out of the insurance company.]
total weight gain: i lost 5-10 pounds in the first trimester because i was a little queasy, and then really made up for it in the second trimester [at one point gaining eleven pounds in 2 weeks], but in the end, it was alllllll water weight--my ankles were so swollen and i was retaining water like crazy. maybe 25-30 pounds all together. i've already lost it all, one of the perks of having a nearly ten pound baby!
blood pressure: my blood pressure was within the normal range for the most part. there was a reading or two that raised their eyebrows, and towards the end i had weekly non-stress tests, but everything ended up being just fine. with all the swelling and a higher reading, they were worried about a risk of pre-eclampsia, but again, a-okay.
baby's heartrate: usually around 140 bpm
symptoms: heartburn! you could hear me coming from a mile away because i always had a full-size bottle of tums rattling around in my purse. that, the swelling, and back pain were really the extent of any side-effects.
progress: i was dilated about 1 cm for 2 or 3 weeks. so frustrating to not be progressing, especially as my due date came and went.
sleep: the first and second trimester, i slept all the time. so exhausted all the time! i think i watched the first half of almost every movie that came out around that time because as soon as we turned out the lights, i passed right out. towards the end, i had trouble falling asleep and staying asleep. i was often up at 4 or 5 in the morning for a few hours, washing dishes or making a shopping list or eating something before i fell back asleep. this was so hard, especially when i still had to work. plenty of times, i burst into tears when my alarm went off.
best moments: finally coming up with a name that we agreed upon, talking with my mom about pregnancy stuff, bargain shopping for baby clothes, russell cuddling around the baby bump, finally looking pregnant instead of just feeling pregnant, feeling him move around in my belly, experiencing everyone's generosity at his showers, finding forest-y stuff for olly's nursery, taking the last week of my pregnancy off--sleeping in and enjoying tom & i's last time together as a couple
movement: he was a maniac in there! olly was head-down for most of the pregnancy and had his feet lodged firmly up in my ribs, kicking away for months and months! i was so relieved when he finally dropped. he also had the hiccups all the time. according to all the baby books, they are not as annoying to babies as they are to adults. it was so funny, once my bump got very big, to watch him move around in there.
food cravings: not so many food cravings as there were aversions. nothing spicy--i actually made two batches of chili only to throw them out because the thought of eating chili made my stomach turn. usually i have a crazy sweet tooth, but i only had interest in salty things for the majority of the pregnancy. that is kind of why i thought we might be having a boy.
what i was looking forward to: no more people asking if i was having twins, no more people at work asking if i still had a baby in there, being more easily mobile, meeting olly and seeing what he looked like!